There are many questions that are important to ask the real estate agent before you sign the contract to buy a property. The number and type of questions will vary depending on the property that is being considered for purchase and also your experience in buying property.
Generally, you should ask:
This question is going to give you an idea of how keen the seller is to sell. It is difficult to provide any definitive plan of attack to take from the answer; however, most sellers become more eager to sell their home the longer it is on the market. Once a property has been for sale for six to eight weeks, many sellers (and agents) start to think that their selling price is too high. If the agent states that the property has been on the market for at least six weeks, ask the agent if the price has been already reduced or whether the seller would consider a reduced price less than the listed price (where a listed price is given).
This may sound ridiculous, but do not underestimate its power. By asking this question an agent might just give up the information you want to know before you make an offer.
Knowing the answer to this question can give you an indication in relation to how eager the seller will be to sell. This may enable you to work out their timetable or deadline for selling. For example, if the agent tells you that they are moving to another location to start work in four weeks, you know they are motivated to sell as soon as possible. Whereas if they are downsizing because the kids have left home and they still have not bought a new place to live, they may be willing to hold out longer to get a higher Price.
This is an important question to find out whether any previous offers have been made, and what amounts have been declined, or offers that have been accepted but possibly fallen through. This can give you an idea of what purchase price the seller will accept, and also give you an indication as to what price other potential buyers believe the property is worth.
As an agent acts on behalf of a seller, they will not usually tell you this information, but it is worth asking to see what the answer is. For example, if an agent says, ‘they’ll take $450,000’, you know not to make an offer over this amount. Even if they do not give you an exact amount, they are likely to give you an indication as to the price that the seller may be willing to accept.
This is not an exhaustive list of questions; however, from my experience with buying and selling property, these are important questions to ask in relation to the purchase of any property. Other questions may involve information about the property, and whether the agent is aware of any changes in the area that may affect the value or amenity of the property (such as whether infrastructure is being considered or being built that may increase or decrease the traffic flow in the area).
The exact consequences of these types of questions depend on the circumstances and you should always have your lawyer verify any information of this nature that is provided by the agent, as the agent may not be aware of all proposals in the area that may affect your decision to buy the property. Buying property is an important consideration for any person including business owners.
It is important that you seek advice from consultants such as your lawyer, accountants, financial planners, business coaches, life coaches, mortgage brokers, and real estate agents to ensure that you buy the right property and follow the process properly. Having the right agent can make an extraordinary difference: an example is when a client was selling a commercial property with an existing business onsite. The property had been up for sale for a long time with no luck until the new agent appointed by the seller was able to, due to his experience and business acumen, put together a package attractive to investors. The property was sold within four weeks.
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